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Saturday, September 23, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Anti-same-sex marriage pastor/campaigner accused by church

WICHITA, Kansas, -- He is the well-known pastor whose abrupt departure from a popular Wichita church left many wondering what happened. Now we are learning more about why Terry Fox and Immanuel Baptist Church parted ways.

Earlier this week, Immanuel Baptist Church issued a statement to "The Baptist Press" about Fox’s resignation. That statement includes some scathing allegations, including Fox’s misuse of church money.

For nearly 10 years, Terry Fox was the person Immanuel Baptists’ huge congregation looked to for spiritual guidance but it all came to an end in August.

In the statement, the church says, "careful examination of the church’s financial records revealed reallocation of cooperate program funds. A portion of the reallocation was used for a radio program — not affiliated with the church. This led to our agreement that it was time for him to resign."

That radio show, "Answering The Call", often focuses on controversial political issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

But Terry Fox, who is now conducting services at his newly formed Summit Church at Wild West World tells a much different story. He says financial issues had nothing to do with his leaving Immanuel Baptist.

"We had the authority to designate mission dollars to different entities that we thought would promote the gospel, that would allow people to have a biblical world view and we felt that our program, "Answering The Call", does exactly that," said Fox.

Fox insists he left Immanuel because of philosophical differences.

Meanwhile, after telling his congregation he was leaving on August 6th, the church claims Fox spoke sternly to church staff.

"A threat in front of 50 deacons and ministerial staff was made by Reverend Terry Fox of individuals who might say anything reflecting negatively on him," said the statement.

Fox responded to that by saying, "we want people to realize that they cannot lie and continue to distort the facts. We have no plans to sue anyone but I’m just glad we live in a nation where there are laws that protect everyone."

While Terry Fox said he has no plans to sue, the church had no comment when we asked it about possible legal action against its former pastor.

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